Listener Survey

Posted: August 17, 2016 by Nazim in Uncategorized


We’d like to know a bit more about you, so we can come to your place while you’re asleep and rifle through your fridge for premium cold cuts. No, seriously, we’d be grateful if you complete the survey linked below to give us some insight into who listens to us. Although we won’t turn down prosciutto, if you have it.

Libsyn listener survey.

Trump, Lies, and Videotape

Posted: July 19, 2017 by Nazim in Uncategorized

This week covers a trio of issues both generally and specifically related to the Trump Presidency.  Brett and Nazim cover (1) the legal ramifications of the Donald Trump Jr. email scandal, (2) the Supreme Court’s ruling im Maslenjak v. U.S., which considered the materiality of falsehoods on an immigration application, and then (3) the case of Husted v. A. Phillip Randolph Institute, a case for next term which considers whether Ohio can purge registered voters who fail to vote for six years.  Law starts at (03:54).

New Episode!

The Tumultuous History of Bivens Claims

Posted: July 16, 2017 by Nazim in Uncategorized

In 1971, the Supreme Court established the Court’s ability to create an independent tort claim for Constitutional violations when no such claim was created by Congress.  Over 40 years later, the Court is still trying to put the genie back in the bottle, most recently with the Court’s holding in Ziglar v. Abasi, which denied Guantanamo Bay detainees the right to sue government agents.  Brett and Nazim go through the history of Bivens claims and how the current Court has changed the original test.  Law starts generally from the beginning, but Bivens specific at (07:00).

New Episode!

Good new for this week’s podcast, there’s a new fantasy Supreme Court champ, bad news for this week’s podcast, the police are shooting people.  This week’s ushers in our Third Annual Summit on Guns by covering the cases of Hernandez v. Mesa (shooting across the Mexican border), and Los Angeles v. Mendez (shooting after not adequately announcing you were police).  Fantasy announcement starts at (03:05); Law starts at (07:37).

New Episode!

Gavel bones 2

So, Nazim screwed up, and scored Nelson for Manrique last time. Now that this has been fixed, we owe apologies all around, and our gratitude to listener Austin, who caught that something was wrong. However, that may have changed your position in a way that you might not recognize based on our last update. In any case, I’m crunching a lot of numbers here, so please let me know if you think I screwed up, but only if you’ll give me some idea of how to fix it. Again, thanks, Austin, you golden god, and victor of this term’s League! To make room for some runners-up, I highlighted the scores of the folks who got the most points from each ballot. You’re no slouches either. Especially Lauren, who pulled it off twice! Listener and host Brett got second place, which he thinks is worth something.

In Sessions v. Morales-Santana, we’re giving the outcome to the Appellee, despite the fact that he’s not going to get citizenship, because he made the successful equal protection argument that got the law overturned. I know, he’s screwed, but he technically won. And technical victories are the best victories, amIrite? Anyone? Crickets?

Hernández v. Mesa was decided per curiam, so nobody’s getting any points for the vote or the author of the majority opinion. Maybe we’ll make those options available for the next term. Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. is another one in which nobody gets any points at all. Overton v. US was consolidated with Turner v. US, so the results were similar, and Vito, oh, Vito, you fat, magnificent bastard, I could kiss you†: you predicted everything correctly for both, scoring ridiculous points there. Ashcroft v. Abbasi saw a 4-2 majority. I’m not really sure what the league takeaway for that is. I mean, next term we’ll just use the majority number to assign points, but I don’t think it’s worth giving all the majority options down to a one justice majority… Maybe I’ll lump per curiam and “smaller majority” together as one choice? What do you think?

Sessions v. Dimaya and Jennings v. Rodriguez will be decided next term, so they won’t be scored this term. Hopefully we’ll remember to add them back into the mix next term, and if I’m really motivated I’ll look up the predictions people made this term and throw them in the mix for those who don’t re-submit their predictions.

This seems like the right add some ado, when I say the word ado, I move the accent to the first syllable, because it makes me sound Japanese, I think. Without it, here are the final scores:

Final Rankings

†Offer void where prohibited or disinclined. I might mention that I’ve never met Vito in meatspace.

Monday was a bad day for the KGB Spies, as the Supreme Court decided to hear the Travel Ban case, modified the existing stay, and gave kids attending a church day care a significantly less chance of cracking their skulls open.  Brett and Nazim sift through the wreckage to determine if the amended stay of the Travel Ban is more harm than good, and whether Trinity Lutheran is a blatant Constitutional violation or just a sign of the times.  Law starts at (03:47).

New Episode!

Brett and Nazim wrap up the final day of the Supreme Court term by discussing Anthony Kennedy’s possible-but-maybe-not-but-probably-someday-before-the-apocalypse retirement, the same-sex birth certificate decision of Pavan v. Smith, and how a newly balanced Court might affect Roe v. Wade.

New Episode!

The Shape of Free Speech to Come

Posted: June 25, 2017 by Nazim in Uncategorized

This week’s case covers how First Amendment Free Speech protections have adapted to internet communication (Packingham v. North Carolina) and evolving views on racism and hate speech (Lee v Tam), through two cases that are just as much about about Constitutional tests as they are about Alito and Kennedy telling each other to shut up.  Law starts at (04:12).

New Episode!

Brett and Nazim re-visit the Travel Ban to discuss whether the 9th Circuit’s non-Constitutional approach holds more water than the sexier Establishment Clause arguments of the 4th Circuit.

New Episode!

This week’s episode takes a long detour through the Supreme Court’s potential review of the Travel Ban at the highest level, with Brett and Nazim discussing each potential Justices view on the appeal and staying the lower order.  The case of Sessions v. Morales-Santana is also covered, which pairs an interesting discussion on intermediate scrutiny with a bummer ending that ruins it for everyone.  Law starts at (05:43), with a bad-ass Sam Neal/Michael Chrichton discussion around  (14:00).

New Episode!

The podcast celebrates Brett’s birthday this week by haphazardly covering Wonder Woman (the movie), Wonder Woman (the gender quality lawsuit), digging bodies up out of a graveyard, the availability of State Codes on Google, Tyrell v. BNSF Railway (personal jurisdiction and Ginsburg/Sotomayor fighting), Laroe Estates v. City of Chester (intervention and standing), Bitchin’ Camaros, Home Alone and Die Hard as Christmas movies, Honeycutt v. U.S. (joint and several liability in conspiracy convictions), Advocate Health Care v. Stapelton (ERISA coverage for church-affiliated business), and Nazim’s harsh review of the Thomas the Tank Engine movie.  “Law” starts at (04:09), but its a bumpy ride.

New Episode!